Officials investigate Pierce College website hacking

Pierce College officials are investigating an incident that involved an outside party hacking the school’s website during the winter intercession, according to Mark Henderson, information technology manager.

The Pulse Online application, which reports news and events pertinent to the college, was compromised around Christmas day but was fixed the day after the incident was discovered, Henderson said.

However, some students and faculty say that they could not access the Pierce website beyond the day it was compromised.

Pierce Sheriff’s Deputy Al Guerrero wasn’t available for comment on the investigation, but security officers who were questioned said that they did not know anything about the incident.

During the time that the Pulse Online application was under an outside party’s control, a box appeared in the center of the school’s site that linked to a Twitter account belonging to Pat Kirkwood (@Largest), Henderson said.

“No data was lost, and the site wasn’t damaged,” he said.

However, Public Relations Manager Doreen Clay said that whoever compromised the application managed to delete all posts published in 2012.

“We lost a year of events,” Clay said. “It was yesterday’s news so it wasn’t a big loss, but it was not nice.”

Since the incident, Clay has been “locked out” of the application. She’s working with I.T. to fix the problem, she said.

Additionally, Clay is currently looking for a different program to host the application to replace the one they’ve used since 2005.

This isn’t the first time the school’s website has been compromised, according to Clay.

Not long ago, someone from China managed to hack the website to leave the message “Hi. I hacked your site,” according to Clay.

“This time, whoever did it seemed to want to do some damage,” she said.